This week, one artist pays homage to hits of the 1960s, another pays homage to a discount store and a group of photographers make images too unwieldy to hang on a wall.
5. Jazz without music
Free-jazz pianist and poet Cecil Taylor has a deep, mysterious voice, and his readings sound like his playing. His volume rises and falls as he speaks, he mumbles and drags out one word and then articulates each syllable of the next one crisply. This weekend, he reads amidst paintings by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kerry James Marshall at MOCA's “Blues for Smoke” exhibition. 152 N. Central Ave.; Sun., Oct. 21, 3:30 p.m.; free with museum admission. (213) 626-6222, moca.org.
4. Tribute to the chart toppers
In Dave Mueller's Blum & Poe show, “Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah,” multiple soundtracks play at once and Top 100 hits from 1969 to 1972 cycle through on computers with small speakers attached. These computers hang throughout the gallery, next to large, sincere drawings of record cases, memorabilia or rock stars. This means you might be listening to Canned Heat's now-obscure 1969 hit “Paper Moon” while looking at a rendering of a “doctored” sleeve of the Rolling Stones' single “You Can't Always Get What You Want” or the cover of Sly and the Family Stone's “I Want to Take You Higher.” 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.; through Oct. 27. (310) 836-2062, blumandpoe.com.
3. Sexy cloth scraps
If you leave out what they're made of, descriptions of Alika Cooper's compositions can sound like vintage erotica: a close-up of a nude torso, a woman in a thong seen from behind, a nude woman holding a portrait of herself in front of her face. But since Cooper pieces together her images with scraps of differently patterned cloth, you usually notice the texture and layering of material first. In her Night Gallery show, “Upbraid,” a single spotlight shines on each work in the otherwise dark room. This means a silky black fabric might glisten or a matte, felt-like fabric might absorb the light and keep you from realizing right away that you're looking at a girl with a thick black rope coming out from between her legs. 204 S. Avenue 19; through Nov. 8. (646) 717-4925, nightgallery.ca.
2. Off the wall
Mariah Robertson printed her photograph 111 on wide metallic paper that she cut into an irregular shape. The photograph is of a photograph that's been turned on its head, showing a man wearing only sneakers and lying on a beach. Expanses of overexposed orange and black color spread out behind the man's image and some faded stones to his right line up to make a curve. These elements sound disconnected, but the way the image buckles and pulls forward off the wall makes each part feel like part of one, powerful body. Robertson's print and a number of other physical photographic images hang from the walls and ceilings of M+B as part of the gallery's “Photography Sculpture Figure” exhibition. 612 N. Almont Drive, W. Hlywd; through Oct. 27. (310) 550-0050, mbart.com.
1. Art out of leftovers
When Michael Queenland moved to Berlin for an artist's residency there, he became enamored with a local discount store called Rudy's Ramp of Remainders. He began buying his supplies there and, when invited to do a show at Santa Monica Museum of Art, he proposed an homage to the store. Now, armies of cereal boxes and stacks of newspaper line the floors and oversized balloons spill cereal out onto the floor. The museum's back gallery has shelves like a storeroom, all filled with “remainders,” objects with a lot of history but no clear purpose. 2525 Michigan Ave., G1, Santa Monica; through Dec. 22. (310) 586-6488, smmoa.org.